Weekend Warrior: Is it time?

With the temps suddenly reaching typical summer levels, the big bass are finally beginning to show up. And show up they will. The plan this weekend is to find these larger fish, whatever the cost. Whatever it takes! However much gas we have to burn, we’re going to get it done.

A reminder: we’re ramping up registration efforts at the Plymouth High Hook Tournament, happening next weekend on June 15th. At only $300 per boat, it’s a great low risk tournament to kick the season off. We’ve got cash prizes for the top three boats and a bunch of awesome items from sponsors for a silent auction. I’m talking 20 prizes from sponsors. If you haven’t signed up, grab a team and register here.

The Report

Similar to past weeks, we spent last weekend pretty much focusing on finding fish in the Three Bays. And we did. Just none bigger than 25″. We’ve had some great luck casting to bass in shallow water with clousers, Ray’s Flies and Hollows, as well as SPs and Bill Hurley Sand Eels and squid, but they’ve all been small fish. While this makes me a little concerned, I’m confident the bigger fish will show up in the Bay eventually.

On Tuesday, Me, Sean, DT, and goodboy Teddy shot out into a fairly snotty Bay to try and find the biomass of bigger fish. We began our search at the East End and found schools of fish with lockjaw. We ended up catching two really nice fish on mackerel, but it was tough sledding.

We found the same thing along Sandy Neck, Scorton and Barnstable. The new moon did not in fact get the fish biting as I predicted.

So I ask you. What is it? Colder than average temps this spring? Plenty of bait along the southern migration route? Or are there just less larger fish around these days? Time will tell. We’re getting to crunchtime.

The Plan

Here’s the real goal this weekend: Find the big bass willing to eat artificals. The bigger bass we have found this season have been reluctant to eat anything not named “mackerel.”

Some very hush-hush reports put the biomass of big fish in Cape Cod Bay, so I’m thinking the normal June spots (RP, Backside, Billingsgate) will light up this weekend. On Saturday, we’ll look to target these fish (mostly feeding on sea herring and mackerel) with SP Minnows, Doc Spooks, Guppy Plugs, Sebiles, and 10″ Hogys. Vertical jigging may have a place in the arsenal as well if the bass are holding deep.

Here’s a Race Point tip: See all of those boat sitting in the rip, bashing into each other, getting lines tangled and screaming their heads off? Don’t be like them. Depending on tide and wind, pick a spot on the potline by Herring Cove or around the Backside and drift the ledge with either live mackerel or throwing big splashy plugs. The bass are just as likely to be hanging on these ledges as they are hanging in the rip, and way more likely if there’s a crazy amount of boat traffic cruising through. Here’s another DBAA tip: If you’re in an area where there are boats drifting, don’t be that guy that anchors up or trolls near them. Have some class.

On Sunday, I’ve got an all-fly trip planned with Sean, Geoff Klane of Brackish Flies, and Todd of @DupeAFish. We’re hoping that the calm winds and beautiful outgoing tide will get the bass around Plymouth Bay in the clouser-eating mood. Outgoing tides in Plymouth always produces around the many boulderfields, cuts, bars, and eel grass, especially if the wind is calm. Depending on what we find on Saturday, we may make the big move and go cow hunting at one of the prime June spots, like Billingsgate. If we find them, we’ll be throwing big hollow flies and Cordeiro flatwings.

Here’s a tip that I’ve found to be helpful this season. Most of the fish we’re finding are in 10′-12′ of water and hugging the bottom, likely rooting around for crabs, worms and shrimp. I’ve found that throwing sinking flies in natural colors on a heavy sink tip line and slowly dredging the bottom has led to more hookups than normal. I’m expecting this to change with the arrival of squid and the topwater action this weekend, but if the bite slows down, moving to a slower, dredge style retrieve will get the bites.

Black seabass fishing remains hot. And if you launch down in Buzzards, you have a very realistic shot at a 5-6 species day. Bluefish and stripers are still blitzing daily and you never know when a big push of fish will come through.

The wind gods were good to us for this weekend (finally) so whatever your poison get out there, take advantage of the glassy seas, and catch some stripers. And don’t forget to register for the Plymouth High Hook!

Billy Mitchell

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